You must have seen or heard that PC assembly specialists wear antistatic bracelets before assembling or repairing components. Processor assembly instructions say that we must defuse ourselves by touching any metal surface before touching them. Why is that? How static electricity can affect your computer, and what dangers it poses.
Static electricity is defined as "the difference in potential between two elements". When one of them has a higher charge than the other, the charge is equalized when the contact is established.
Indeed, static electricity can be a danger to the PC, and it is more dangerous if the PC is turned off than on because when it is turned on, we have a grounded power supply that will help us avoid possible problems.
Charge transfer occurs when you touch a component that has a different charge than yours. When you are positively charged and touch a component that is negatively charged, you transfer a certain level of voltage and current to it. Of course, the components are ready to withstand a certain level of load, but if it turns out that we transmit a higher load, they can be damaged.
Would you say that the charge that can be transmitted by static electricity is too low for that? Yes, in most cases it is. However, processor manufacturers recommend not to experience fate, as static electricity will force it to change state by transmitting "random" data to it before even connecting it to a PC.
The only thing we have to do not to damage the PC is to "defuse" ourselves before touching any internal component.